From his hours out in the wilderness watching sheep and the long nights guarding them under the stars as a young shepherd boy, David was inspired (after the Spirit came upon him in I Samuel 16:13), to write the Spirit prompted lessons of his life we have now in the book of Psalms.
This Psalm may have been prompted when David studied what God expected from a King. As David studied what Deuteronomy 17:14-20 explained were God’s expectations of the King, he made them his holy habits. These youthful habits strengthened him for enduring all the adversities and adversaries he faced for his entire life.
Longfellow: A Psalm of Life, Voices of the Night
John Hammersley wrote these “psalms” for publication and for use in worship and conferences, as a way of providing prayers which can be used privately, or can be used by groups of people together.
Psalm 22 - For the director of music
One common denominator can be traced through each era, and most events, of David’s life: David often suffered from intense loneliness. Whether from being the youngest of the boys in a family with all the normal rivalries, jealousies, and troubles as we’ll see in I Samuel 16, or from his long work hours far away from anyone else: David spent an immense amount of time alone in the wilderness.
To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.” A psalm of David
But the habits of David’s youth never left him. They were simple habits. When he was afraid he trusted in God. When he was at the end of himself he turned to God. When he felt alone he confessed that he could escape the Spirit of God. David was a life-long seeker and finder of the Lord he loved.
Psalm 46 - For the director of music
In fact, the Holy Spirit inspired David to write over thirty psalms that captured how the Lord was his refuge during his greatest struggles. Here’s a chronological list of those events and the songs he is believed to have penned in each.
Psalm 121 | "I Lift Up My Eyes to the Hills." Thoughts …
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,—act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;—
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.